That thing about academia

The mixing of politics and science is a political issue in itself. The AGW alarmism is one example. Another, on the anti-war front, is the recent review of a Lancet study about the cost of war. Morrissey points out the basic issue in his essay about how the Discredited Lancet study gets even more discredited.

In short, Burnham won’t reveal how he arrived at those numbers, which makes his research completely useless. Scientific studies have to reveal their entire methodology in order for others to attempt to duplicate the study and its results. Without duplication, results cannot be confirmed, and most scientists reject them — unless they serve political rather than scientific ends.

The fact is that there are at least two major influences that tend to bias scientists in ways that lead to this sort of thing. One is the fact that the government is a major source of funding for scientific research and it is necessary for many scientists to sell their research to the government in order to remain employed. Another is a yearning for the basic idealism of peace, security, and a return to a garden of eden.

There is an accountability process in scientific inquiry. It is often messy and may take a while to have effect. As long as it continues to exist we can hope the truth will out. It just gets frustrating at the costs involved.

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